Doug Eckert portrait

NOPD Cmdr. Doug Eckert, via NOPD

UPDATED: Longtime NOPD Commander Doug Eckert died Monday, hours after retirement, officials say


A veteran New Orleans Police Department commander described as a mentor to Police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson retired on Sunday, prompting leadership changes in two patrol districts.

Doug Eckert, who has been experiencing health problems, retired after 22 years on the force that saw him rise to lead the Criminal Investigative Division and most recently Uptown’s 2nd District.

Ferguson moved Commander Jeff Walls to take over Eckert’s job in the 2nd District. Meanwhile, homicide lieutenant Ryan Lubrano was promoted to take over Wall’s former role as the commander the 3rd District, which includes Lakeview, Gentilly and parts of Mid-City.

In a statement, Ferguson called Eckert a friend and mentor.

“Even in his final days with the department, Doug’s passion and dedication for the job were on display. He is the epitome of what it means to be a law enforcement officer,” Ferguson said.

Eckert joined the Police Department as a recruit in 1997 and graduated from the Training Academy the next year. He worked his way up through the ranks to become a commander in 2014.

Eckert quickly gained a reputation as a turnaround artist. After then-Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux issued a blistering report about the department’s sex crimes unit in 2014, Eckert was named to lead the Criminal Investigations Division.

In 2016, the nonprofit group Sexual Trauma & Awareness & Response dubbed Eckert an “agent of change” for his work transforming the unit. Quatrevaux said the unit underwent a “spectacular” transformation.

More recently, he has been one of the department’s go-to spokespersons addressing high-profile crimes in the media.

Follow Matt Sledge on Twitter, @mgsledge.